A casual diner with a name that made me do a double take. The Garden Slug? Cute. With a mascot that just makes you smile. And hey, walking distance from where I live! It's in a quiet locale, at Bright Centre (Lorong L), just off Telok Kurau Road. I looked at the menu on its website, a review by Paolo, and decided to try it out.
It's not too difficult to find, just look for the banner on the corner of the street if you're lost. A cheery, pleasant, cafe-like venue with bright colours, a lounge sofa, free Internet access and shelves of not just magazines but books for you to enjoy (I hear you can even borrow these to take home!).
Service was prompt, welcoming and friendly. This joint seems to be started by three young entrepreneurs. I always like supporting new ventures like these. Just like Avis, they seem to try harder. So how was their food?
We ordered Bangers and Mash, The Steak and a Rustic Bolognese to share. Yeah, yeah, I was hungry. The Bangers (two herby Polish sausages) and Mash (S$10.90) came really swiftly and looked promising. The skin was grilled nicely and had a good bite but the centre of the sausages still felt a little cold, so we asked them to cook it a bit more thoroughly. It came back with extra gravy. Anyway, the sausages were tasty without being overpowering (herbs detectable but not too strong). Very generous with the mash.
The pasta dish (S$9.50) did not look like what was presented on the menu. It was again, a very generous portion but sadly, a little underwhelming. There was a certain unidentifiable herb sweetness that didn't go well with the rest of the dish. And the carrots had a sour tinge, like they had been boiled with a dash of vinegar. Spaghetti also less al dente than we would have preferred. Maybe I should have chosen the Gooey version with loads of mozzarella.
Now the Steak (S$16.90) came sizzling hot. Mmmmh, this was good. Hubby and I both agreed that this regular steak was nicer than Aston's wagyu version. The tomato-onion-risotto side was quite delicious. It cut through the greasiness of the steak and refreshed the palate. The mash was the same one as the bangers dish. Hubby liked it. It was very soft but yet had chunks of potato that lent some bite. I liked the bits of potato skin that came with it.
We had to have ours done medium well since my pregnancy outlaws raw-ish meat. But I was quite happy with what they did. Charred well on the outside but still juicy and tender on the inside. Seriously, it was so tender, I could cut it with my spoon! In fact, they didn't even give us any steak knives...just an ordinary dinner knife for one of us.
There was again a strange herb or seasoning (different from the pasta one) that lent a unique flavour to the steak. We couldn't quite figure out what it was but it was fine. I felt the steak didn't need the brown sauce. That slab was good enough on its own.
For dessert, we shared a strawberry with vanilla gelato (hand-churned) and cream (S$5.50). Very nice end to the meal. The gelato was light and airy, not too sweet at all. Strawberries were sweet with just a hint of tartness.
Hubby had a coffee as well to round off the meal. It was good. Strong and full-bodied. Tasted extra good when taken with a bite of the dessert.
Portions here are huge and fairly value-for-money. I think we had too many dishes (oh greedy me!). I like the quiet, hidden niche atmosphere and think it's great for casual dining. They do delivery and cater for events and functions as well.
55 Lorong L Telok Kurau
#01-59/61 Bright Centre